Death Becomes Denis O'Hare

As True Blood’s new vampire king, Denis O’Hare explains why it doesn’t suck to be old, gay, and sometimes naked.



DENIS OHARE 3 X390 (HBO) | ADVOCATE.COMDescribe Russell and Talbot’s dynamic 700 years into the relationship.
What you’ll see is a marriage that’s well-traveled and a little frayed at the edges. These guys snipe and complain, but there’s always an incredible deep affection at the base of it. Theo and I worried that there were too many fighting scenes between us, but then we had this lovely scene later in the season, a lovely tender moment, where I finally get to put my hand on his cheek and basically talk about how much I care for him. It was a great relief to have that scene, because we kept talking about that every day of shooting: How do we show the love?

Is a hand on the cheek the extent of gay vampire lovemaking we’ll see this season?
You get some stuff between Talbot and somebody else, and you get a little bit of stuff between Russell and somebody else — the guy I get naked with. He’s played by a straight actor, a lovely guy, and early on in the scene I just grabbed him, put my hands all over him, and said, “OK, this is what I’m going to do: I’m going to do a little of this, and some of this.” I just had to break down any kind of shyness that he had, but he was great.

So Russell and Talbot have an open relationship?
Well, you know, after 700 years, you gotta keep it spicy. There’s also a sense of, You’re not going anywhere, so if you need to get that, you go ahead and get that. There’s a level of trust there that’s pretty strong, so Russell has no fear that Talbot’s going to fall in love with somebody else. Theo and I talked about the idea that they broke up for maybe 75, 80 years sometime around 1700. Russell went to the Dutch Indies to get involved with trade, and Talbot went to Greece to fight for his independence. Then they missed each other too much, so they got back together again.

You and your partner, Hugo, have been together for 10 years. There’s a big difference between 10 and 700, but has anything in your own relationship bled over into your True Blood relationship?
Not really. Hugo and I have a pretty fantastic relationship. We definitely have our frictions here and there, but we get along really, really well. At 10 years we have a great amount of mutual respect for each other, so we rarely descend into any kind of disrespectful sniping. The only similarity is that Talbot is obsessed with decorating and Hugo is an interior decorator.

OK, let’s get serious. When it comes to Sookie’s soul mate, are you on Team Bill or Team Eric?
Oh, gosh. I don’t mean to be a wimp here, but I have to plead the Fifth. Only because I need both of them in strategic ways, so it would be unwise for me to alienate either.

Tags: television